Road Trip

Arabella - - NEWS - Lorie Lee Steiner

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Part ab­stract re­al­ist painter/part ur­ban ar­chae­ol­o­gist, Melissa Chan­don delves be­low the sur­face of the every­day; avoid­ing ex­cess frills to cre­ate an un­fet­tered view of Amer­i­cana with a Pop Art twist. In her world, a ‘50s vin­tage car with sharp chrome fins tows a turquoise camper. Vi­brant retro gas pumps stand in a row. Shad­ows stream from a sil­ver Airstream trailer… As is so ob­vi­ous in her paint­ings, the plea­sure of travel on the open road is high-oc­tane fuel for her art. Many of us re­mem­ber week­end jaunts in the back seat of the fam­ily sta­tion wagon when we were kids. But Melissa’s ex­pe­ri­ence was so much more… in essence it was school-on-wheels. "Road trips were my par­ents’ pas­sion," she recalls. "They saw the Amer­i­can land­scape as a means of ed­u­cat­ing their five chil­dren – ex­pos­ing us to the hu­man­ity of high­ways, small towns, truck stops and KOA Kamp­grounds all across the US. To this day, I find cars, gas sta­tions, mo­tels, bill­board signs fas­ci­nat­ing – and I feel it is im­por­tant to doc­u­ment this era of Amer­i­can his­tory be­fore it dis­ap­pears." Even as a three-year-old, Melissa had an un­de­ni­able pas­sion for draw­ing. Per­haps it was the fact that her fam­ily re­lo­cated so of­ten when she was grow­ing up that made her sub­con­sciously

pre­vi­ous spread, Lake Dock, acrylic on can­vas, 36" x 48" above, Ab­stract View of a Car, acrylic on can­vas, 48" x 48"

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